Netflix has been holding an event today, where they have been making a variety of announcements about content coming to the popular streaming service in coming years. In the subsequent press release there was a line reading that among those projects is a Castlevania TV series.
Part 1 of the Castlevania TV show’s first season will be arriving this year, indicating that similar to other Netflix series like The Crown, Castlevania has been automatically greenlit for at least two seasons (or a first season to be released in two separate chunks). The Belmont family will definitely be making their streaming debut later this year – although likely not in October, when Stranger Things season 2 arrives – and aiming to dominate in all of their vampire-slaying glory.
As noted by io9, the Castlevania TV series is most likely being developed by Adventure Time‘s Frederator Network (who teased his involvement near the end of 2016) and produced by Adi Shankar – known for his Power Rangers fan film that garnered a lot of attention in 2015. Shankar had previously written about his involvement on Castlevania along with Fred Seibert on Facebook with the timestamp “about a year ago”:
“Breaking News: I’m producing a super violent Castlevania mini-series with my homies Fred Seibert and Kevin Klonde. It’s going to be dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.”
For his part, Fred Seibert also teased his involvement with the show previous to this official announcement.
The Globe and Mail reports that legendary comic book writer Warren Ellis (The Authority), has written the finale episode of Castlevania‘s first season, bringing an even more impressive pedigree to the video game franchise as it makes its transition to the small screen. This could definitely lead to speculation about the rest of Castlevania‘s writers room and whether or not other titans of industry (animation, video games, comic books), will be writing Belmont family adventures as well.
While Netflix did not volunteer much information on Castlevania, this is still an exciting announcement. The venerated property has been in development (or rumored in development), since its inception in 1986. These rumors reached their height in 2007, so it would seem fitting that the property is making its narrative debut a decade later. The franchise is much beloved and could bring even greater brand awareness to Netflix in general. It will be interesting to see if this show focuses on characters featured in Castlevania video games past or a new generation of vampire hunters unique to the series.
There are, of course, immediate concerns that spring to mind on the heels of this announcements. Video game properties have classically been difficult to adapt to the straightforward narrative of a feature film, with Tomb Raider being the most successful to date. Castelvania has a unique opportunity with its longer form storytelling that may allow it to smooth over some bumps that audiences experienced in 2016’s Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed movies. Netflix has gotten its hands on a very talented team that understands that medium and should hopefully be able to assuage these concerns and fears in development. So far out from the debut of the series, it remains to be seen.
Castelvania Season 1, Part 1 on Netflix in 2017.